Shale crude oil pipeline Paul Edmondson/ZumaPress

La nouvelle norme en matière de pétrole

LAGUNA BEACH – Les prix du pétrole sont de nouveau à la baisse, le baril de pétrole brut américain s’élevant actuellement en dessous des 42 $ – soit le plus bas niveau depuis le mois de mars 2009, au plus fort de la crise financière mondiale. Et tandis que la baisse brutale de l’an dernier s’expliquait en grande partie par la survenance de deux impressionnants chocs de demande, le déclin actuel revêt désormais une importante dimension liée à la demande.   

Dans le même temps, les marchés pétroliers sont en train de découvrir ce que signifie opérer en présence d’un nouveau producteur d’appoint : les États-Unis. Cette évolution vient conférer bien davantage de maladresse au processus actuel de formation des prix, et accroître considérablement les délais d’ajustement. 

La dynamique des marchés énergétiques s’est trouvée significativement modifiée par la mise en service d’une production de pétrole de schiste à l’échelle du marché en 2013-2014. Cette nouvelle source d’énergie venant répondre à la demande énergétique mondiale, notamment aux États-Unis, les utilisateurs se sont libérés de leur dépendance à l’égard de l’OPEP et des autres pays producteurs de pétrole. Au passage, leur vulnérabilité face aux problématiques géopolitiques s’est également atténuée. 

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